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Thursday, 03 August 2006
Newtown Creek is all the Rage
Written by Emily Farris   

The Times Ledger takes us on a nice little boat tour of Newtown Creek. What they missed? The site of what will soon be the first park on the Queens side of the Creek.

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Thursday, 03 August 2006
Coney Island "Comparatively Clean"
Written by Emily Farris   
Coney Island's water is "comparatively  clean," when compared to the city's "ritzy suburban beach clubs," says the Daily News. We don't know about those Westchester beaches, but NY4P is out surveying the city's seven public beaches right now. Soon, we'll have results and we'll let you know if it's really safe to go in the water. 
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Thursday, 03 August 2006
Yeah, Yeah. It's Hot Again. Blah, Blah, Blah
Written by Emily Farris   

If it seems like all we've been blogging about is the heat, that's because it's consuming our lives. But it's made for some pretty cool pictures, i.e.

someone brave enough to put her head in the water at Coney Island and

McCarren Park pool with water Photoshopped in...looks refreshing

If we hear of any, you know, hard news, we'll be sure to let you know. Until then, stay cool.

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Wednesday, 02 August 2006
Um, Yeah, It's Hot
Written by Emily Farris   

So it's hot. Really hot. Again, we'll not encourage you galavant around your local park today unless you own Hammer pants complete with a personal a/c unit. Unlike yesterday, the heat is the top story on the Mayor's website, and  immediately below that is a link to a cooling center locator. We're going to stay in our air-conditioned office building in the dark and hope that the electricity stays on until at least 6 so we don't have to walk back to Brooklyn. (We did wear flats and the thinnest t-shirt we own just in case.)

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Tuesday, 01 August 2006
Shameless Self Promotion
Written by Emily Farris   
It's rare we use this blog for self-promotion beyond our work with NY4P (actually, this is the first time), but we've entered an environmentally friendly t-shirt design contest over at treehugger and we want you to vote for us (us being Emily Farris)! Thanks in advance.
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Tuesday, 01 August 2006
National Park Service Approves Parkland Conversion: Redux
Written by Emily Farris   

So, remember when we broke the news about the National Park Service (NPS) approving the plan to convert parkland to build a new Yankee stadium and four parking garages on/under Macomb's Dam and Mullaly parks in the South Bronx? Now we have some details as to why they might do such a thing. We thought we'd share so you can be just as disappointed as we are. Here are a few "highlights" (in laymen's terms; we had to have our Planning Director actually dissect the NPS's findings to bring this to you):

  • Reconstruction and renovation of the current Yankee stadium are not viable alternatives to a new stadium because both require lots of new parking spaces.
  • The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (a Federal grant program that requires a series of criteria before parkland is converted) has "no public participation requirements."
  • Two out of five replacement ballfieds will be made of synthetic turf (the ones there now are all natural grass).  NPS actually says: "Synthetic turffields have air quality beneifts because they do not require regular mowing with gasoline-powered machinery." (Yes, and then they contribute to the urban heat island effect that makes us all turn on our air conditioners and then air quality goes out the window....but what do we know?)
  • The NPS claims no significant impact of the loss of 400 mature trees -- even though they admit that the small replacement baby trees have fewer leaves and will be able to absorb less particulate matter from the air.

Read the documents yourself including the full 2,000 EIS at the NYC Parks Department's website.

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Tuesday, 01 August 2006
Maybe Not the Best Day to Exert Yourself in Your Local Park
Written by Emily Farris   
Mayor Mike has declared a heat emergency for today. So though we promote the use of parks, we advise you to stay inside today. Unless, of course, your local "park" is actually a pool. In that case, we say what the heck are you doing in front of your computer? And if you can find some excuse to pull us away from ours (i.e. you need to show us something really cool at your pool that you think should be up on The Dirt immediately) stop by and pick us up!
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Monday, 31 July 2006
Global Warming Threatens 12 National Parks
Written by Emily Farris   
A study by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that global warming threatens the eco-systems of these 12 national parks: Montana's Glacier National Park, Grand Teton in Wyoming, Glen Canyon in Utah and Arizona, California's Death Valley and Golden Gate, Washington State's Mount Rainier and North Cascades, Colorado's Mesa Verde and Rocky Mountains parks, and Bandelier in New Mexico. [Via National Geographic]
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Monday, 31 July 2006
The Great Debate Over the Great Lawn: Redux
Written by Emily Farris   
You hardly need our commentary to accompany this New York Times article about the city's motivations for banning rallies on Central Park's Great Lawn during the Republican National Convention, held here in New York City in the summer of 2004. We remember when we tried to get a permit for an event in a downtown park during that time (before our days at NY4P) and we were told there would be absolutely no permits issued during the Convention. Given that, we can't say we're incredibly surprised by this article (though the argument--that there wouldn't be sufficient police force to monitor rallies while monitoring the RNC--could be a valid one, along with the argument that hundreds of thousands of people on the Great Lawn at once might ruin it).
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Monday, 31 July 2006
Compost Wars
Written by Emily Farris   
As a rule, we think compost is pretty awesome. It's great fertilizer and a fantastic way to keep food out of garbage and landfills. However, if we lived near a ginormous composting site and could smell it through our windows, we might have a different opinion.
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Friday, 28 July 2006
The Parks Department Wants You to Have Fun This Weekend
Written by Emily Farris   
Here's what they suggest you do.
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  • When It's About More Than Parks
  • Have You Reserved Your Free Daffodil Bulbs Yet?
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